Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill really must have hit it off during “The Wolf of Wall Street” because in addition to co-creating a TV series based on the life of rapper Q-Tip, the buddies are also going to reteam on a biopic of Richard Jewell, the man falsely accused of bombing the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
According to Deadline, Hill would play the Olympic Park security guard in a movie based on the Vanity Fair article, “American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell.” The story is a pretty tragic one, and the announcement seems perfectly timed with the Sochi games about to kick off.
If your memory doesn’t reach all the way back to 1996, the story of Richard Jewell is a confusing one that grabbed too many headlines. Jewell had been working in Centennial Olympic Park during the Atlanta games when he found a backpack filled with pipe bombs. He alerted police immediately and got much of the surrounding area evacuated. The bombs eventually did go off, killing one. Another person working as a cameraman died from a heart attack while running toward the scene.
At first, Jewell was considered a hero for saving potentially hundreds from the shrapnel packed inside the bombs, but that changed in the days after the explosion when it leaked to the media that the FBI was investigating him as a possible suspect. News programs and late-night talk show hosts —*cough*Jay Leno*cough* — essentially decided that Jewell was guilty, when in fact he was completely innocent.
Jewell was eventually exonerated and took a number of media outlets to court for libel. He died in 2007 at the age of 44.
Jewell’s story is one that’s still relevant today in a time when headlines can convict people before a jury can decide, and in the hands of Hill and DiCaprio, it has great film potential.